We had a nice relaxing vacation at Kota Kinabalu in November of last year; we went there via Air Asia and arrived at Terminal 2 in the evening. We paid for taxi vouchers and hopped on two taxis (we were seven in all) which took us to the hotel in 15 minutes.
Check in procedures was quick; our rooms were sea-view rooms booked via the hotel website about a month before. Our flight was delayed and I asked my cousin to email a message to the hotel to advise this. (I tried calling but I could only get through to the Sutera trunkline but not to the Pacific front desk)
The air-conditioning unit in my sister's room wasn't working when she and her family got there, they called room service and a staff came promptly to fix it. Service staff in the hotel were courteous and friendly. One time, we left our room cards (keys) inside the room and after a quick call, we were given replacements.
Breakfast buffet was included in the MYR 517.50 (about USD153 at that time, service & taxes included) rate for the rooms. The spread was generous, and was geared towards the predominantly Asian clientele. It was a little different from the buffet spreads I've tried in hotels in Manila. Noticeable was the presence of Indian & Malaysian food in the offerings. If the main dining area was full, one is directed towards the outside garden area for alfresco dining.
The Pacific Sutera being part of the Sutera Resort group was a big plus. One can take the free shuttle bus to the Marina and the Magellan Sutera. (One can actually just walk to the Marina if one wants to) There are signing privileges for guests staying in any of the hotels so it is very convenient. One can use the other facilities like the pool in any of the three outlets for free. Strangely, even though during breakfast there seem to be many guests, when one goes around the facilities, they were not crowded at all. Most likely a lot visit the city or any of the five major outlying islands.
The kidney pool at the Pacific itself wasn't bad at all (even better I think than the one at Magellan), but for sports or recreation enthusiasts, the Marina & Country Club had more facilities, like fitness club, karaoke, reading room, badminton court, an Olympic lap pool, two different pools with slides. There's also a spa in each of the two hotel outlets, with the one in Magellan (being a resort hotel) having a larger one.
We didn't have other meals in the restaurants but did try having lunch twice by calling room service, and they were okay.
One drawback was the "sound-proofness" of the rooms, or the lack thereof. There were a number of conferences or incentive meetings booked in the hotel, and one night the karaoke singing reached up to our room. Even though muffled, I actually could recognize the song being sung. I wasn't that sleepy, so I went down to check, knowing that the hotel did not have a karaoke section. I found out it was some incentive party, and they were having one of the more popular Asian entertainment activities, which was karaoke singing. It didn't last beyond 11:00 PM though, so that didn't bother me that much. But for some people though, this may be an issue.
During our stay, there were two days when it was rainy because of a sudden thunderstorm. The concierge was very helpful in providing us weather updates from their weather bureau (and they were surprisingly accurate) and rotating our schedules in visiting the city, one of the islands, and the river cruise. He also helped us get a van to go to the airport instead of taking two taxis. Also, there are free shuttle buses going to the city stopping at various malls. You can also catch them to go back to the hotel. The malls were quite small specially when compared to the numerous gargantuan ones in Manila, but they were interesting anyway to have a look.
All in all, it was a pleasant experience and I wouldn't hesitate recommending this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sutera Harbour Resort is Malaysia’s foremost premier integrated property. The resort encompasses the luxurious accommodation of The Pacific Sutera and The Magellan Sutera hotels, a 27-hole championship golf course, Sutera Harbour Marina & Country Club, two Mandara Spas and a host of dining and recreational facilities. Sutera Harbour Resort is also affiliated with 5 other eco-destinations in Sabah managed through Sutera Sanctuary Lodges including Kinabalu Park, Mesilau Nature Resort, Laban Rata, Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve and Manukan Island Resort. The resort also offers a luxury charter division, North Borneo Yachting and steam locomotive through North Borneo Railway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera & The Magellan Sutera) Hotel
- Sutera Harbour Resort (The Pacific Sutera And The Magellan Sutera)
- Sutera Harbour Hotel
- Sutera Harbour Kota Kinabalu
- Magellan Sutera